The goals of the proposed project will be to use passive samplers in the Gulf of Mexico before, during and post impact from the Deepwater Horizon Spill of 2010. The passive samplers are biological response indicator devices for gauging environmental stressors (BRIDGES) developed as part of a Superfund Center grant. The devices are air and water passive sampling devices (PSD) that bridge environmental exposure and biological response/effect. They can provide for high throughput samples and rapid turnaround of data. They sequester polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oxygenated PAHs (OPAHs) as well as other organic contaminants. OPAHs are potentially more mobile, bioavailable and/or persistent than PAHs. There is growing evidence that OPAHs have important toxicological significance. Dispersants that increase bioavailability coupled with sites exposed to UV may increase OPAHs. The use of complementary bioanalytical tools that quantify bioavailability PAH processes is important to understand disasters such as chemical spill risk.
Specific Aim 1 : Deploy a set of BRIDGES, air and water bio-analytical tools, regionally in the Gulf of Mexico before, during and post impact to quantitatively sequester bioavailable contaminants.
Specific Aim 2 : Develop discriminatory pattern recognition and multivariate regression assessments of components in PSD extracts and contaminant source type.
Specific Aim 3 : Utilize the zebrafish developmental model and Ames assay to test the relative potency of pre-, during and post-impact Deepwater Horizon spill BRIDGES extracts. From a translational perspective, a significant data gap currently exists with respect to oxygenated PAHs and the risk assessment process, currently only the 16 priority PAHs in air is EPA's focus. OPAHs are known to be important hazards, the detection and quantification will provide new and very important information on the complexity of the spill that is not currently being captured. The Outreach, in collaboration, will relate environmental health education that applies to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill research of the Project and disseminate to individuals working and living in the states along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico using novel methods including the web.

Public Health Relevance

Rapid generation of high throughput bioavailable PAHs data in air and water from the Deepwater Horizon Spill in LA, MS, AL, and FL will have standalone value. First creation of bioavailable oxygenated PAH data will be invaluable to understanding effects on environmental and human health. Providing pertinent PAH health information to be delivered using novel methods via the web will fill identified information gaps needed by community leaders, and public health professionals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-SET-V (08))
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Thompson, Claudia L
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Oregon State University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
United States
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Allan, Sarah E; Smith, Brian W; Anderson, Kim A (2012) Impact of the deepwater horizon oil spill on bioavailable polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Gulf of Mexico coastal waters. Environ Sci Technol 46:2033-9